a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for May 9, 2013

A Rubric for Mothering

< by Mark >

As a mom, you are in charge of your child’s well being for roughly the first 25 years of their life. During this time you will be responsible for feeding, clothing, directing, correcting, chauffeuring and generally making sure they live to see another day.

Your training to do all these things probably came from your mother which means if you’re breathing your mom successfully raised you.

Measuring the degree of mothering mastery beyond this first level of skill can only be assessed after most of your mothering career is winding down.

Here are a few guidelines for in-process self grading.

  • Was your child’s smile first revealed to you?
  • Is your child seemingly glued to you at all times?
  • At the end of a trying day are you the only one who’ll do when comforting is needed?
  • Do you miss your children if you’re apart for more than a couple hours?
  • When you are challenged by your child and referred to as “The motherly beast” are you secretly proud of that title?
  • Are you the first person who is called when something (happy,sad,mad,stressful) happens?
  • Do you feel like you’re turning into your mother?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you are a mom.

I’ve watched my daughter Ann move into this role with a passion to love and nurture her two little charges. With more than a few calls to her mom — “The motherly beast” — for help and advice on how to keep these two kids safe and sound.

To Ann, you wear the mom name well, to Jill, I am anxious to watch you when it’s your time to try this on. “Your” motherly beast has taught you both well.


The fatherly angel …